Has Alcohol Gone Up In The Budget?
assortment of empty glasses on a pub counter as men sit and drink
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Has Alcohol Gone Up In The Budget?

Jasmyne Jeffery March 15, 2023

Today, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the Spring Budget for 2023. Whilst he made announcements about childcare, house prices and energy prices, that certainly wasn’t all. As his speech in the House of Commons came to an end, the British public now wants to know has alcohol gone up in the budget?

Jeremy Hunt delivered his budget to the UK government and the British public today (March 15). In it, he spoke of extending free childcare hours in the following years. There is also the belief that the UK economy will improve over the next year. Fresh off the slate, opinions are flying about on each and every detail that was announced. However, one, in particular, is catching people’s attention. After short-lived Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng announced a freeze on Alcohol Duty in September’s mini-budget, we all knew a change was going to come with Jeremy Hunt.

Has Alcohol Gone Up In The Budget?

The Spring Budget 2023 announced that, largely, the price of alcohol will be increasing in the next few months.

Although the Chancellor has frozen Alcohol Duty until August after that prices will increase to match the price of inflation.

This wasn’t a complete shock, and the level of increase will depend on the product bought. However, as the weather begins to get warmer, a hike in alcohol prices isn’t the news we all wanted.

The official line from the Spring Budget is the following:

“Duty rates of all alcoholic products produced in, or imported into, the UK will increase in line with RPI.”

However, the news wasn’t all bad, with Hunt adding in something to soften the blow to alcohol going up.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Some Alcohol Prices Will Be Cheaper In Pubs Than In Supermarkets

It sounds strange, but according to the Chancellor, it’s true.

Owing to the freedoms of Brexit, Jeremy Hunt announced that there will be an increase to the Draught Relief from August 1. This means that although alcohol will be more expensive, pubs will pay less tax for products on draught. To summarise, the MP said that draught alcohol will be 11p cheaper from August 1 if purchased in a pub than in a supermarket.

Currently, at 5 per cent, Draught Relief on beer and ciders will increase to 9.2 per cent before the end of the summer. For spirits, wines and other fermented products, it will increase from 20 per cent it is now to 23 per cent.

The plan is that this will mean a boost for pubs and their regulars in the coming months, hopefully helping boost the economy,

What that means for the rest of us, is that we’re all hoping for a scorcher of an August bank holiday so we can get the cheaper drinks in a beer garden!

As alcohol prices increase with inflation later on in the year, here is what The Sun reports the increase you’ll expect to see is:

  • A glass of still wine: 5p higher.
  • Whisky: 3p higher.
  • Pre-mixed G&T: 6p lower.
  • Pint of beer on draught: No increase.
  • Pint of cider: 2p higher.
  • Bottle of beer: 5p higher.
  • Bottle of cider: 5p higher.

It’s no surprise that prices will be going up after the year we’ve had. But, it’s nice to know that going out for a pint will cost less than having it at home. It’s also nice not to need an excuse to pop down the pub come the end of summer!

You can read the other announcements in the Spring Budget 2023 here.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time writer on Freshered after working freelance with GRV Media previously. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger. In 2022, she graduated with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Jasmyne worked briefly for her local newspaper before heading to university and completing an internship at a publishing company. She is now pursuing and loving a career in journalism. Jasmyne has a particular interest in student news, entertainment, and social media, whilst also (trying!) to help put the world to right. Originally from North Devon, she is currently loving the small-city life in Cardiff.